Though once thought a complete loss for the Predators, David Poile was able to work his magic at the last minute and seal Nashville with a few key draft picks in both the second and third rounds. Thanks to his maneuverability, the Predators picked up nine potential players yesterday in the 2012 NHL Draft. Here is a quick rundown of who Nashville nabbed and what they could bring in the future:
Pontus Åberg – Predators first draft pick (37th overall)
Thanks to Poile’s slick trade move with Tampa Bay, the Nashville Predators were able to snag this young forward who is said to be the ninth best skater in the draft. Per scouting reports, Aberg has killer shooting accuracy, tremendous puck handling skills, and tends to pass the puck well (Trotz will like that). However, reports on consistency issues have been brought up, bring certain current players to mind (SK74). But, keep in mind, Aberg is tied to Swedish team Djugarden through the 2013-14 season, so the 19-year-old has plenty of time to outgrow any issues.
Colton Sissons – Predators second draft pick (50th overall)
With their second pick in the draft, the Predators stepped away with another forward, this time Canadian Colton Sissons. Scouting reports have nothing but praise for this young Center, acknowledging his strong skating and defensive style, along with unique offensive characteristics. As the captain for the Kelowna Rockets, the trait of leadership shines with this kid, proving he’ll fit in just fine when he’s eventually called to Nashville.
Jimmy Vesey – Predators third draft pick (66th overall)
The Predators chose an Ivy League bounder with their third pick, nabbing Left Winger and Boston native, Jimmy Vesey. Vesey is slated to play for Harvard this upcoming season, but don’t let his brains fool you; the kid broke the EJHL single-season scoring record (48-43-91), winning league MVP, and taking home the Bruins’ John Carlton Award for combining exceptional hockey skills with academic excellence. In his recent draft interview, Vesey stated that he looks up to Mike Fisher and has a thing for Country music. Sounds like, once makes his move to the NHL, Vesey will do just fine here.
Brendan Leipsic – Predators fourth draft pick (89th overall)
The Predators did a little trading with the New York Rangers to get their fourth pick, trading their 3rd Round pick in next year’s draft for a Canadian Left Winger, Brendan Leipsic. Currently on the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks roster, Leipsic is known for three attributes: speed, skating, and energy. However, similar to Aberg, Leipsic is prone to a bit of inconsistency at times. But, with his aggressive style and physical nature, Leipsic is bound to be a top forward at some point in his career.
Zachary Stepan – Predators fifth draft pick (112th overall)
Does his last name sound familiar? If you’re a fan of the New York Rangers, perhaps it does. Cousin to Derek Stepan, Zachary is blazing his own trail, even stating that he has been following the Predators for about two years now, impressed with how far the franchise has come. Stepan has trained under the Shattuck-St. Mary’s program, the same one that brought up Sidney Crosby. Speed, strength, and control keep this kid flying high on the radar, despite his small frame. His aggressiveness towards bigger players reminds us of a one, Francis Bouillon.
Mikko Vainonen – Predators sixth draft pick (118th overall)
With a name like Mikko, you must have guessed Nashville’s sixth draft pick hails from Finland. As Nashville’s first defenseman pick of the draft, Vainonen brings a lot to the table as defenseman go. At over 200 lbs, slow and steady is not an option for this Finn; Speed and his excellent stickwork make this kid a force to be reckoned with. However, as far as scouting reports go, most do not see this 18-year-old as more than just a puck pusher, but (being the age he is) he will have plenty of time to grow.
Simon Fernholm – Predators seventh draft pick (164th overall)
Yet another Swede to add to the Predators potential roster is defenseman, Simon Fernholm. At 187 lbs, the young Swede will need some time to grow into his defenseman position, but again, time will help build his character as an NHLer.
Max Görtz – Predators eighth draft pick (172nd overall)
…And the Predators pick up another Swede with their eighth pick, Right Winger Maz Gortz from Swedish team, Färjestad. Gortz is a large forward, with a good release and solid technical skills. He will stay with Färjestad at least another season.
Marek Mazanec – Predators ninth draft pick (179th overall)
With the parting of Anders Lindback, the Predators chose, with their final pick of the draft, a goalie from the Czech Republic by the name of Marek Mazanec. At 6’4″, we’re pretty positive this Czech goalie is well on his way to fitting in just fine amongst the organization’s goalies.
You won’t have to wait too long to see how these nine draft picks match with one another, as the Predators Prospect Camp starts this week at Centennial Sportsplex. All in all, we would conclude that Nashville had a very successful draft day and that maybe, just maybe, David Poile should get a little pat on the back.